The Barbados Road Tennis Game is the probably the only physical game which is indigenous to Barbados. It shows the ingenuity of our people.
The game was formulated sometime in the 1930's by those who did not have the luxury of a lawn tennis court, or a table and rackets for table tennis.
Two players play a game. The first player to reach 21 points by a 2-point advantage wins the game. A Road Tennis court must be placed on a flat surface. The court is 21ft long and 10ft wide. The Net is 8 inches high and 12 ft long. The 1st player to reach 21 points by 2 or more points wins a game. If a game is tied at 20, it is deuced and the first player with a two-point advantage wins the game.(proroadtennis.com)
The ball of the game is that of a lawn tennis ball, which has had the felt coat removed. This "skinned" ball allows for greater dexterity and quicker movements of the ball to and fro.
The game is one of the most exciting in the world today, and if one is not a fit person you will certainly become so.
The game, however, has not been embraced fully by the middle, and rich classes in Barbados, which is probably due to its origins.
It is therefore imperative that the outlook on this game be changed. The change in the game can start with a change in name of the game. The name "Road" Tennis does not speak very highly of the game, and this has lead to the game being looked down upon.
A name change might also allow for this form of tennis to be more marketable, and be more in a position to be sold to the wider society, Caribbean, and the world.
Other measures which can be put in place in order to changed how this game is looked upon would involve more of what is currently being done. That would mean increasing tournaments and its presence on television which is always exciting to watch, and encouraging more business establishments to sponsor the games, which gives them the opportunity of have their products and services advertised.
We in the Caribbean always seem ashamed of the things we have invented. A popular case in point would be the Steel Pan instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. This instrument, although it was created in Trinidad and Tobago was patented by Americans.
Are we in Barbados waiting for someone in Europe or North America, or wherever, to patent this game, take it to the wider world, and make it a standard game at even the Olympics, before we can shout to the world this is our game and we embrace it?
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